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The need for autonomy Autonomy Support

The desire for self-determination, volition, meaning, and freedom of choice (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Assor define the need for autonomy as the individual’s striving to realize and actively and exploratively form authentic and direction-giving values, goals, interests, and abilities, i.e., to construct his identity (Assor, 2012).

Autonomy support includes a variety of behaviours such as allowing choice, encouraging relevancy, providing a rationale, enabling expression of negative feelings, encouraging personal initiative, taking the students’ perspective, and employing students’ preferred teaching methods based on their interest (Reeve, 2006). 


Assor, A. (2012). Allowing Choice and Nurturing an Inner Compass: Educational Practices Supporting Students’ Need for Autonomy. S.L. Christenson et al. (eds.), Handbook of Research on Student Engagement, DOI 10.1007/978-1-4614-2018-7_20, Springer Science & Business Media, LLC. pp. 421-439.

Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The “what” and “why” of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behaviour. Psychological Inquiry, 11(4), 227-268.

Reeve, J. (2006). Teachers as facilitators: What autonomy supportive teachers do and why their students benefit. The Elementary School Journal, 106(3), 225-236.